Friday, December 28, 2012

Bullying May Alter Gene Expression, Study Finds

Live Science, December 27, 2012

"Bullying may leave long-lasting scars on kids' DNA in addition to their psyche, new research suggests.
A small study found that bullied kids are more likely to have changes in the expression of a gene involved in mood regulation compared with their identical twin siblings who were not bullied.
'Since they were identical twins living in the same conditions, changes in the chemical structure surrounding the gene cannot be explained by genetics or family environment,' researcher Isabelle Ouellet-Morin said in a statement. 'Our results suggest that victimization experiences are the source of these changes.'" Read More

National Mentoring Month Only 11 Days Away!

MENTOR, December 20, 2012

"In less than two weeks, National Mentoring Month 2013 will be here, with the theme 'Mentoring Works!' and a host of ways — big and small — to get involved.
Established in 2002, National Mentoring Month (NMM) celebrates mentoring and the evidence-based, positive effect it can have on young lives. NMM’s goals are to:
- Raise awareness of mentoring in its various forms.
- Recruit individuals to mentor, especially in programs that have waiting lists of young people.
- Promote the rapid growth of mentoring by recruiting organizations to engage their constituents in mentoring." Read More

Overweight Teens Report High Rates of Bullying, Teasing

HealthDay News, December 26, 2012

"A new survey of teenagers in weight-loss programs found that 64 percent had been teased or bullied because of their weight, and although the lion's share of teasing came from their peers some of the perpetrators have included parents, teachers and coaches.
'Kids who are clinically obese are experiencing teasing and bullying, not just at school but at home. That means they have few sources of support or allies,' said survey author Rebecca Puhl." Read More

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Nearly One-Third of Kids With Food Allergies May Be Bullied

HealthDay News, December 24, 2012

"Many children with food allergies may be bullied at school -- sometimes with potentially dangerous threats to their physical health, a new study suggests.
The study, of 251 families at a New York City allergy clinic, found that about one-third of kids said they'd been bullied specifically because of their food allergy.
The bullying usually happened at school and often took the form of teasing. But in many cases, the children said classmates threatened them with the food to which they were allergic -- waving it in front of them, throwing it at them or saying they would sneak it into their other food." Read More

Mentoring programs aim to change lives

News Times (Georgetown, KY) December 23, 2012

"Law enforcement officers have joined with school officials in Georgetown to try to make a positive impact in the lives of high school freshmen.
The Georgetown News-Graphic reports that city police officers and Scott County sheriff's deputies are volunteering to mentor ninth-graders who know they have problems and have requested help.
The officers will be paired with at least one of 10 students who requested to participate in the program. The Check and Connect program pairs volunteers and students so that they can build a relationship. The program is new to the ninth grade, although it is in its second year at the high school." Read More

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

'I Am Adam Lanza's Mother': A Mom's Perspective On The Mental Illness Conversation In America

The Huffington Post, December 16, 2012

"Friday’s horrific national tragedy -- the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut -- has ignited a new discussion on violence in America. In kitchens and coffee shops across the country, we tearfully debate the many faces of violence in America: gun culture, media violence, lack of mental health services, overt and covert wars abroad, religion, politics and the way we raise our children. Liza Long, a writer based in Boise, says it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.
While every family's story of mental illness is different, and we may never know the whole of the Lanzas' story, tales like this one need to be heard -- and families who live them deserve our help.
Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants." Read More

How To Help Kids Deal With Trauma Of Newtown Shootings

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) December 18, 2012

"In the aftermath of last week's mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, it's natural for children all over Connecticut be anxious and even frightened, not just about going to school but about life in general. Child guidance experts statewide say parents should not deny their kids' fears but should talk about them frankly and try to ease them with calmness, stability and love.
'Make sure you are honest. Don't tell them half-truths. Don't just say everything will be OK, because that will undermine their actual fears and coping skills,' says Nicole DeRonck, counseling coordinator for Newington Public Schools and a past president of the Connecticut School Counselor Association (CSCA). Read More

Friday, December 14, 2012

Patriots celebrate Mentoring, Exercise and Healthy Eating Volunteerism

New England Patriots News, December 13, 2012

"The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation continued the ongoing Celebrate Volunteerism initiative with special weekly focuses on 'Mentoring Volunteerism' (Nov. 25 - Dec. 1) and 'Exercise and Healthy Eating Volunteerism' (Dec. 2 - 8).
The Foundation teamed with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest, Inc., Family Service, Inc., Latino STEM Alliance, Old Colony YMCA – Big Sister Big Brother, Partners for Youth with Disabilities, Raw Art Works and Springfield School Volunteers, Inc. for the week of Nov. 25. On Nov. 27, Patriot Devin McCourty and former Patriot Sterling Moore participated in interactive games with students and mentors from Old Colony YMCA Big Sister Big Brother programs." Read More

In Hartford, Using Shakespeare To Teach About Bullying Behavior

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) December 13, 2012

"Thalia Rodriguez needed a few moments to calm her middle-school nerves before taking the stage at McDonough Expeditionary Learning School.
After all, the 12-year-old was tasked with cooling a rivalry dating back to the 16th century.
'No! Violence doesn't solve anything,' Thalia asserted, hands on her hips, demanding and receiving apologies from the grown actors playing mortal enemies in a scene from William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet.'" Read More

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Adderall addiction: Students misuse drug to gain boost while studying

Iowa State Daily, December 8, 2012

"The United States is 4 percent of the world’s population but produces 88 percent of the world’s legal amphetamine. Adderall, also known as the 'study drug,' is in high demand across the nation and has increasingly become highly abused by college students who claim Adderall is the key to academic success.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine and is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD, and narcolepsy.
The combination of the two drugs increases attention and decreases restlessness in patients who are overactive, cannot concentrate for very long, or are easily distracted and have unstable emotions." Read More

Facebook 'Compliments' Pages Crop Up to Fight Bullying Online

The Stir, December 10, 2012

"Amid the increasingly prevalent stories about Facebook being used to bully teenagers or apply negative pressure against organizations comes a refreshing new trend: all over the U.S. and Canada, high schools and universities are setting up pages where students can give each other anonymous compliments.
Imagine, if you will, a social media world where instead of attacking each other, students leave each other notes like, 'This is an appreciation post dedicated to your hair. Let us all marvel at its beauty.'
It's being called reverse trolling -- or cyber-graciousness, if you prefer -- and there are nearly 100 pages like the one set up by Queens University, which asks students to 'Spread happiness!' by sending in nice words about each other." Read More

Glastonbury Forum Tackles Underage Drinking

Hartford Courant (Glastonbury, CT) December 12, 2012

"The question was asked over and over again in different ways at a community forum on underage drinking Wednesday: What is the best way for youths to resist alcohol?
Stephanie Consoli had a good answer: 'You just surround yourself with the right people who do the right things,' the Glastonbury High School junior said.
Consoli and three other students, all of them members of the Glastonbury Youth Advisory Council, were joined on a panel by Dr. Wayne Paulekas of Prime Health Care and police Officer Allison Collard." Read More

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Two-Time Gold Medalist Aly Raisman And Her Parents Join Underage Drinking Initiative

PR Newswire, December 10, 2012

"Three-time Olympic medalist and U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team Captain Aly Raisman and her parents, Lynn and Rick Raisman, joined The Century Council and its Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don't Mix program to encourage parents and kids to have active discussions about the dangers of underage drinking. In addition to promoting an ongoing dialog between parents and kids, the program aims to embolden youth to 'say YES to a healthy lifestyle and NO to underage drinking.'
The Century Council recognizes the importance of these discussions and understands they are sometimes difficult for parents to have. We've all seen it: the roll of the eyes, a heavy sigh and a "not again Mom!" Like many conversations between young teens and their parents, it is difficult to tell if kids are listening to what their parents have to say. Earlier this year, The Century Council released survey results that showed kids really are listening to their parents when they discuss underage drinking. The partnership with Aly, Lynn and Rick emphasizes the entire family should be involved in these discussions." Read More

Young Binge Eaters Prone to Illicit Drug Use: Study

Health Day News, December 10, 2012 

"Tweens, teens and young adults who routinely overeat appear to be more likely to experiment with marijuana or other drugs, new research suggests.
The observation stems from a decade-long research effort, during which nearly 17,000 boys and girls were tracked to assess eating and drug-use patterns.
The bottom-line: Drug use increased among all overeaters, regardless of whether that behavior took the form of relatively controlled overeating or binge-eating behavior, which involves a loss of eating control." Read More

Glastonbury Youth Advisory Council Sponsoring Forum on Teen Drinking

Glastonbury Patch (Glastonbury, CT) December 10, 2012

"In an effort to cut down on alcohol abuse and dependence, the Glastonbury Youth Advisory Council is sponsoring a community forum on preventing and reducing underage drinking at the Riverfront Community Center Wednesday night.
Teen alcohol use kills 6,000 people each year, and alcohol is the leading cause of death for individuals under 21, according to the council.
The council event will host keynote speaker Corey Sharken, who will relate his story of alcohol addiction. Sharken’s presentation will be followed by a youth-led panel discussion and a question-and-answer session." Read More

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Are some teens wired to binge drink?

Futurity, (London, UK) December 4, 2012

"A gene variation may help explain why some teenagers are more likely than others to binge drink.
Alcohol and other addictive drugs activate the brain’s dopamine system, which is responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward. Recent studies have found that the RASGRF2 gene is a risk gene for alcohol abuse, however, the exact mechanism involved in this process has, until now, remained unknown.
'People seek out situations which fulfill their sense of reward and make them happy, so if your brain is wired to find alcohol rewarding, you will seek it out,' says lead author Gunter Schumann from the Department of Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry at King’s College London.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides the most detailed understanding yet of the brain processes involved in teenage alcohol abuse." Read More

Brookfield Police Install Prescription Drug Drop Box

Brookfield Patch (Brookfield, CT) December 4, 2012

"Brookfield Police, in cooperation with the Brookfield Substance Abuse Coalition and the Brookfield Health Department, has installed a 24-hour drop box for prescription drugs in the lobby of the police department. Residents can deposit unwanted or expired drugs anonymously in the drop box, which operates under a license from the Connecticut Department of Consumer protection with the approval of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)." Read More

Parent's Guide to Drug Prevention Gets an Update

School Leadership 2.0, November 30, 2012

"Today's adolescents and teens face a much different drug landscape than did those raised in the late 1990s, which is one reason the U.S. Department of Education and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) updated an in-depth guide for parents.
'Growing Up Drug-Free: A Parent's Guide to Prevention (2012)' is a 55-page booklet covering an array of topics to educate parents and caregivers about how to address this issue with their children. Originally published in 1998, the revised publication gives parents ideas about how to talk with their children about drugs, and what to do if families believe their children are using illicit drugs and alcohol." Read More

Bullied Teens May Suffer Lingering Trauma

HealthDay News, December 4, 2012

"Bullied teenagers can develop post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, according to a new study.
The findings suggest that victims of bullying may require long-term support, said the researchers from the University of Stavanger in Norway. 
They looked at almost 1,000 teens, ages 14 and 15, and found that one-third of those who said they had been bullied had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, such as intrusive memories and avoidance behavior." Read More

American Eagle Outfitters Partners With Big Brothers Big Sisters This Holiday Season To Create One Million Moments Of Mentoring

Daily Markets (Philadelphia, PA) December 4, 2012

"American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) is creating 'one million moments of mentoring' through holiday gift card sale donations to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and wardrobe makeovers for some of the national mentoring organization’s most deserving teen and tween mentees.
Of every gift card sold from December 1 – December 24, $.15 — up to $150,000 — will go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. In addition, American Eagle is teaming up with the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers and other NFL franchises to give deserving middle- and high-school aged 'Littles' a $200 gift card to use during a private shopping experience with some of their favorite local professional athletes." Read More

Monday, December 3, 2012

MENTOR Named to New Index of 100 High-Impact Nonprofits

MENTOR, November 27, 2012

"The Social Impact Exchange has named MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership to the first-ever index of 100 top-performing, evidence-based nonprofit organizations in the United States.
Known as the Social Impact 100 (S&I100), this list represents two years of collaborative work within the Social Impact Exchange and offers confidence to donors, foundations and others that they are contributing to organizations that consistently deliver impact and have the potential for continued growth." Read More

Underage drinkers targeted at CCSU

New Britain Herald (New Britain, CT) November 30, 2012

"Police issued nearly 50 underage drinking tickets after a crowd of Central Connecticut State University students attempted to flee a large party on Allen Street Thursday night.
Officers on the CCSU underage drinking detail showed up to investigate a large, loud party in progress at the second floor apartment at 402 Allen St. and discovered dozens of kids fleeing and more inside still partying, police said.
About 30 people ran from the building when officers arrived and no one would answer the door, according to police reports." Read More

East Granby Resident to be Featured on Univision Show

East Granby Patch (East Granby, CT) November 30, 2012

"East Granby resident Javier Soto will be a guest on the Saturday, Dec. 1, edition of Univision's 'El Show de Analeh.' In his interview segment, airing at 11 a.m., Soto discusses youth mentoring and its impact on him, on the child he mentors, on the child's family and on the community in which the child lives.
Soto, a native of Puerto Rico and an engineer at Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, has been a Big Brother (adult mentor) in the Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters community-based program for the past five years. He has also been a member of the organization's Latino Advisory Council. This past April, Soto was one of only five 'Bigs' who were presented with Exceptional Mentor Awards at Nutmeg's annual Volunteer Recognition Event. In July, he was featured in a Hartford Courant article that reported on his 5-year match relationship with a boy from East Hartford named Alex." Read More

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

1 in 4 in U.S. Starts Drinking Before Turning 21: Report

Healthy Day News, November 26, 2012

"Underage drinking in the United States remains a serious public health issue, a new federal government report shows.
The analysis of data gathered between 2008 and 2010 from the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that more than 26 percent of 12- to 20-year-olds reported drinking in the month before they were surveyed, and nearly 9 percent said they bought their own alcohol the last time they drank.
The purchase and consumption of alcohol by anyone under age 21 is prohibited in the United States." Read More

Mentors Needed For New Program At CREC Public Safety Academy

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) November 26, 2012

"Approximately 20 male and female mentors are needed by Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters for an after-school youth mentoring program that is starting shortly at the Capitol Region Education Council's Public Safety Academy in Enfield. The announcement was made by Tara Gill, site-based coordinator for Nutmeg, who will be managing the program.
'Everybody at CREC and Nutmeg are extremely excited about this new venture,' said Gill. 'The program will meet every Wednesday during the school year from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. The children being mentored are students from CREC's Public Safety Academy in Enfield. We're anticipating that many of the adults mentoring those children will be CREC employees, but we're also hoping that other men and women from Enfield and the surrounding communities investigate the opportunity to discover how much fun and rewarding a mentoring experience can be.'" Read More

Monday, November 26, 2012

Anti-Bullying Theater Program Latches Onto Lessons Of 'Sneetches'

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) November 26, 2012

"It happens in the hallways, on the playing field and over the computer. Books and documentaries show that bullying is a growing trend.
'I do see people manipulating each other and talking about each other and making people feel like they're not good enough,' says Taijah Irvin, a 13-year-old from Hamden, who is taking action by participating in an innovative anti-bullying project, intended to build confidence and camaraderie.
'The students are learning through their own exploration of the arts,' says Genevive Walker of the Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology, known as ConnCAT, a non-profit organization that opened in New Haven last spring with a mission to inspire and motivate youths and adults. The organization is partnering with the Long Wharf Theatre's education department to create this after-school program for area seventh and eighth graders." Read More

Actor likes show's anti-bullying message

News Times (Danbury, CT) November 23, 2012

"For 11-year-old Brandon Szep, 'The New Kid,' an anti-bullying musical, is personal.
Brandon, who lives in Southbury, is no stranger to acting. He has appeared in about 20 plays and musicals, including 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.' He played Kurt in 'Sound of Music' and recently appeared as a choir boy on the HBO show 'Boardwalk Empire.'
But, for Brandon, 'The New Kid' is different.
'I had some problems with being bullied at Pomperaug Elementary,' said Brandon, who then transferred to the Waterbury Arts Magnet School. 'This musical is kind of autobiographical.'
'The New Kid,' in which Brandon plays the title character, Zack, will be playing in New York and Connecticut through June 2013."  Read More 

Underage drinking still serious problem in all states according to new national report

SAMHSA, November 20, 2012

"More than a quarter of the American population who are too young to drink are doing so anyway according to a new report issued today by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Although there has been progress in reducing the extent of underage drinking in recent years, particularly among those aged 17 and younger, the rates of underage drinking are still unacceptably high. Not only did 26.6 percent of 12-20 year-olds report drinking in the month before they were surveyed, 8.7 percent of them purchased their own alcohol the last time they drank. The study used combined data from SAMHSA’s 2008 to 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)." Read More

Raise voices to stop bullying

Greenwich Times (Greenwich, CT) November 20, 2012

"As a sixth-grade middle-school student, I am writing to give a voice to all of those being bullied. I will sometimes hear about bullying in schools, and I don't know how anyone could be so cruel! Bullying makes it difficult to learn, terrorizes students, and creates almost a monarchy for the students doing the bullying because everyone is afraid of them. Bullying should not happen, and I believe everyone should do more to enforce that!
If you were constantly bullied, or if you were afraid to walk to your next class, it would be hard to focus on your schoolwork."  Read More

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

CT Dept. of Mental Health & Addiction Services

WTNH News-8 (New Haven, CT) November 19, 2012

"Mary Kate Mason, Project Manager for the CT Dept. of Mental Health and Addiction Services, was here to impress upon us the importance of setting rules for minors with regards to drinking. Studies have found that when parents or guardians set clear rules and guidelines, children tend to follow them.
A group of state agencies, organized and sponsored by the CT Office of Policy Management has been working on a campaign to inform parents about underage drinking, brain development and the Social Host Law. The campaign, funded by Federal Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Money, includes television, radio and print media in the hopes of reducing underage drinking." Read More

Workshop at High School Will Tackle Cyber-Bullying

East Hampton Patch (East Hampton, CT) November 19, 2012

"A social networking program for parents as a way to combat cyber-bullying will be held at East Hampton High School next week.
Sal Lifrieri, the president of Protective Countermeasures & Consulting, Inc. and the former Director of Security and Intelligence Operations for New York City’'s Office of Emergency Management during the Giuliani administration, will discuss the challenges facing parents and students during an informational seminar on Dec. 3 at 6 p.m." Read More

Haddam-Killingworth Fundraiser Nov. 18 To Support Healthy Communities – Healthy Kids Coalition

Hartford Courant (Haddam, CT) November 16, 2012

"The Connecticut State Police Troop F Barracks and the Healthy Communities – Healthy Kids Coalition are hosting a fundraiser to help support the coalition after its primary funding source runs out in 2014.
The two will host a pancake breakfast Nov. 18 at the Haddam fire station, 439 Saybrook Road, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. The suggested donation is $10 for adults and $5 for children and students." Read More

Booze sales to minors found

Republican-American (Woodbury, CT) November 15, 2012

"The state Department of Consumer Protection has accused 11 town businesses of illegally selling alcohol to minors after conducting a sting operation Saturday.
In what a department spokeswoman called a routine compliance check of 15 businesses, underage accomplices from the Governor's Prevention Partnership working with the Woodbury Resident State Trooper's Office were allegedly served alcoholic beverages by employees at Daly Express Mart, Discount Liquors..." Read More

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Children born to stressed moms have a higher chance of being bullied

The Examiner, November 14, 2012

"Children are more likely to be bullied at school if their mothers were severely stressed during pregnancy, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
The finding came from a team at the University of Warwick, led by Professor Dieter Wolke, Professor of Developmental Psychology at University of Warwick and Warwick Medical School.
Prior research has indicated that stress in pregnancy can cause behavioral abnormalities in the child. However, until now, the effect of the stress on a child's vulnerability to bullying was unknown." Read More

Prescription painkillers ‘like loaded guns’ for teens

Health Policy Solutions, November 14, 2012

"Andrea was 15 when she started abusing prescription painkillers. As an adolescent, the Denver woman, now 31, dabbled in alcohol and marijuana with friends, but it wasn’t until she had her wisdom teeth pulled and was prescribed Percocet that 'I found what I’d been searching for, where my body felt like it was in a comfortable space in life.'" Read More

Ohio bill to address 'cat-and-mouse' drug game

CT Post (Columbus, OH) November 14, 2012

"A proposed Ohio law seeks to end what a prosecutor called a "cat-and-mouse" game involving chemists changing synthetic drugs' molecular content to keep them legal.
At issue are the sale and abuse of synthetic drugs such as bath salts and herbal incense, which can cause users to behave in bizarre and dangerous ways. Lawmakers first made the drugs illegal last year.
Current Ohio law bans a particular chemical compound used to make such drugs, said Matt Donahue, a special prosecutor with the Ohio attorney general's office."   Read More

Facebook launches 'bold' anti-bullying campaign

CTV News, November 14, 2012

"Social media giant Facebook is asking users to take a stand against bullying in the Be Bold: Stop Bullying national campaign.
Launched in Toronto on Wednesday, the online campaign asks youth, parents and educators to take a pledge against bullying, share stories about their own experience with bullies and encourages Facebook users to start their own bullying-prevention groups.
Facebook Canada managing director Jordan Banks said the campaign aims to specifically reach out to those who are witnesses to bullying." Read More 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Addressing Bullying: Schoolwide Solutions

Education Week, November 13, 2012

"Kids have been bullying each other for generations. But for Generation Z, also known as the iGeneration or the Net Generation, the ability to utilize technology to expand their reach—and the extent of their harm—has increased exponentially. Bullying in all forms, face-to-face or via technology, is of course unacceptable, but today's school leaders need to arm themselves with new rules and strategies to address aggressive behaviors that hurt students' well-being, their academic performance, and school climates overall.
One 2011 report suggests that many schools are not adequately preparing students to be safe in today's digitally connected age. It cites basic online safety and ethics as two areas in which students need more education." Read More

Forum on Bullying at Glastonbury High School Cafeteria Thursday

Glastonbury Patch (Glastonbury, CT) November 14, 2012

"Rushford, a local substance abuse and mental health provider, and the Glastonbury Alcohol and Drug Council is hosting a free community forum on bullying this Thursday.
The forum will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Glastonbury High School cafeteria, and is open to middle and high school students, parents, teachers, coaches and other community members who want to further explore the issue of bullying. The forum will feature a panel of experts, including members of the Glastonbury Police Department, the Glastonbury Youth and Family Services and members of Rushford." Read More

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Social exclusion and binge drinking in young people attracted to more than one gender

Medical Express, November 12, 2012

"A report by the University of Otago, Wellington shows that many young people attracted to more than one gender tend to binge drink because they feel stigmatised and socially excluded.
Lead author, Frank Pega, from the University's Department of Public Health and the Harvard School of Public Health, says that a minority of young people who are attracted to more than one gender binge drink. However, binge drinking is higher in this social group than in other sexual minority and heterosexual young people."  Read More

Parenting cuts genetic risk of teen drinking

Brown University (Providence, RI) November 8, 2012

"In a new study, addiction researchers found that attentive parenting can overcome a genetic predisposition to alcohol use disorder among teens. Although further research is needed, says lead author Robert Miranda Jr., parents can have an impact if they 'closely monitor their child’s behavior and peer group.'
In 2010 a team led by Robert Miranda Jr., associate professor (research) of psychiatry and human behavior in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, found that teens with a single difference in their genes were more predisposed to alcohol use disorder. In a new study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research he found that the risk was largely overcome in teens whose parents are attentive to their behavior and peer group. Miranda, a researcher at Brown’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, answered questions from science writer David Orenstein about the new study." Read More

Monday, November 12, 2012

Panel addresses issue of cyber-bullying

The Reminder (South Windsor, CT) November 9, 2012

"'The problem of bullying is ubiquitous,' said Charles Margolis, chair of the South Windsor Human Relations Commission. With the Internet opening up countless new ways for people to interact -sometimes anonymously - parents, educators and children have noticed over the years that bullying has been taken to the cyber arena. To address this issue, the South Windsor Human Relations Commission held a panel discussion entitled 'What every parent needs to know about bullying and cyber bullying' on Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Town Hall council chambers.
The first expert to speak was Dr. Bill Howe, who is a program manager at the State Department of Education, the chair of the Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission, and an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut, Albertus College and Quinnipiac University. 'We do have a serious problem with bullying,' said Howe. 'Far too many children are being tortured emotionally… I believe it's a responsibility of every educator to ensure that every student that walks into a classroom is safe mentally and physically,' he said." Read More

Bullying news: Arizona football team steps up to help bullied girl (Video)

The Examiner, November 9, 2012

" reported on Nov. 9 that a football team in Queen Creek, Arizona stepped up to help a young girl overcome bullying in their high school.
The girl is Chy Johnson, a freshmen born with a brain disorder. She had suffered from the cruelty of bullies her entire life and one day her mother decided she had enough. Instead of approaching the high school administrators or teachers, two actions that rarely do any good, she took to Facebook.
Chy's mother reached out to a student named Carson Jones to get the names of the kids bullying her daughter. Jones chose to handle the incident in a different way. Jones is the starting quarterback of the undefeated Queen Creek football team, and he gathered the football players to join up to protect Chy at school from the bullies." Read More

Prescription drug abuse conference Friday

The Day (New London, CT) November 9, 2012

"The state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is sponsoring a conference from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 16 focusing on the growing problem of prescription drug abuse.
Members of the state’s prevention, medical, government, education, law enforcement and retail communities, and others, will gather at the Hartford Marriott Farmington for the event, titled 'Prescription Drug Abuse: A Connecticut Meeting of the Minds.'" Read More

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Teen girls and binge drinking: A dangerous mix

Sheknows Parenting, November 5, 2012

"We’ve all had the discussions with our teens about underage drinking, yet alcohol is readily available to them. For many teen girls, it has become the most important component of their social life. When alcohol becomes her BFF, the problems become serious.
Underage drinking continues to pose a huge threat to the health and well-being of our teens — and girls may be at a greater risk than boys. What starts as something fun and daring may quickly turn into a crutch she can’t manage social situations without." Read More

Teen prescription drug abuse: What to do

Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA) November 6, 2012

"Prescription drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, Ritalin and Valium are the killer new teen high. One in six teens say he or she has taken a prescription drug at least once in the past year. One in 11 is drug-dependent and one in five show signs of dependence, a new study says.
While kids swipe pills from medicine cabinets and purses, trade them at school or pluck them from bowls at 'pharma parties,' parents are often clueless. We don’t think it can happen to our kids, so we say little, miss early warning signs and fumble opportunities to educate and protect our kids. During October and November, the Healthy Kids blog will look at this issue through the stories of former teen prescription-drug users now in recovery, their parents and local addiction-recovery experts working to treat addicted teens and help parents prevent this under-the-radar and illicit drug use." Read More

Monday, November 5, 2012

Food Allergies Can Make Kids Targets for Bullies

HealthDay News, November 2, 2012

"As the mother of a child with a severe peanut allergy, Nicole Smith was vigilant about reading labels and making sure teachers and school administrators understood that ingesting even a trace amount of peanuts could kill her son.
Dealing with the allergy was challenging -- and got more so when she heard an alarming story. When her son, Morgan, was in first grade, another student chased him around the playground with a peanut butter cracker, shouting, 'I'm going to kill you!'" Read More

Painkillers are frequently abused by young people

Medical News, November 4, 2012

"Prescription painkillers with trade names like Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin are in almost everyone’s medicine cabinet. They’re so commonly prescribed that many people don’t think they’re dangerous like a street drug.
But painkillers are one of the most frequently abused drugs among young people, in part because they’re so readily available. In 2011, 9.8 percent of people age 18 to 25 and 5.9 percent of people age 12 to 17 reported nonmedical use of pain relievers, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health." Read More

Simsbury High Drug Sweeps to Continue, Student Drug Use Down

Simsbury Patch (Simsbury, CT) November 4, 2012

"It may be a new school year but Simsbury school officials are not letting up on tough policies implemented last year to curb student drug use.
In a letter to parents of high school students, Principal Neil Sullivan reported that as a result of a community-wide response to the issue of drug abuse, incidents of student drug abuse and possession have decreased. Last February, eight police canines were brought to Simsbury High School to search for illegal drugs in the school. No drugs were found during the search." Read More

Friday, November 2, 2012

Web App Helps College Students Enhance Academic Performance

The SOP, November 1, 2012

"ADHD prescription drug abuse among college students is a known concern among campus officials. The percentages vary, yet studies show that illicit ADHD drug abuse rates may be as high as 34% of a campus student body. Students use these `smart` drugs to improve their concentration, help them cram for exams, and enhance their overall academic performance. The Strong Institute, a leader of auditory brain stimulation programs for individuals with neurobiological disorders, has a solution: Brain Shift Radio offers students the ability to improve their focus without the use of drugs.
The core technique used in Brain Shift Radio was developed from the Strong Institute`s 30-plus years of research exploring how auditory brain stimulation can enhance cognitive function. Called Rhythmic Entrainment Intervention (REI), their technique has been proven to be nearly twice as effective as 20mg of Ritalin for focusing." Read More

Bullying has long-term health consequences

EurekAlert (Huntsville, TX) October 30, 2012

"Childhood bullying can lead to long term health consequences, including general and mental health issues, behavioral problems, eating disorders, smoking, alcohol use, and homelessness, a study by the Crime Victims' Institute at Sam Houston State University found.
'What is apparent from these results is that bullying victimization that occurs early in life may have significant and substantial consequences for those victims later in life,' said Leana Bouffard, Director of the Crime Victims' Institute. 'Thus, the adverse health consequences of victimization are much more far-reaching than just immediate injury or trauma. Understanding these long term consequences is important to assessing the true toll of crime on its victims and on society as well as responding to victims more effectively.'
The study, 'The Long Term Health Consequences of Bullying Victimization,' recommends investing in victim services and effective prevention programs, such as the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, a school based initiative for violence prevention. Programs can help address the immediate trauma, both mental and physical, that victims experience." Read More

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Town, ASAP to Enact Measures to Ensure a Safe Homecoming

Voices News (Bethlehem-Woodbury, CT) October 31, 2012 

"Woodbury Officer Frans Dielemans has seen the deadly result of underage drinking first-hand and with the Nonnewaug High School Homecoming slated for Thursday, November 1, he and ASAP, the local prevention council, remind parents that providing alcohol to minors is illegal.
On Thursday morning, November 1, residents will see signs reminding that 'Parents that host, lose the most' throughout town in strategic areas, according to Maryanne VanAken, a member of ASAP.
'This is the peak time for parents to buy kegs for their kids — Homecoming and prom,' Mrs. Van Aken said." Read More

The Arla Guide | Bullying is associated with a number of adolescent issues

Courier Journal, (Louisville, KY) October 30, 2012

"Bullying is a major public health issue. Currently, 30 percent of American adolescents admit to at least moderate bullying — either as the bully or the victim.
Bullying can make school an anxiety provoking time for both parents and kids. Peer pressure and cliques can be devastating for middle school youths and adolescents who are ostracized. Unfortunately, many times this snubbing leaves these children as vulnerable targets for bullying and discrimination." Read More

Home Medicine Cabinet Often Source of Teen Drug Abuse

American News Report, October 30, 2012

"The most likely source of illicit drugs for teenage drug abusers is not a friend at school or the neighborhood drug dealer. The danger lurks at home — in their parent’s medicine cabinet.
A University of Cincinnati study that examined over-the-counter (OTC) drug use among 7th-12th grade students found that 10 percent of the teens abused OTC drugs typically found in the home. The study also suggests that boys are at a higher risk of drug abuse than girls.
'Findings from this study highlight and underscore OTC drugs as an increasing and significant health issue affecting young people,' said Rebecca Vidourek, a University of Cincinnati assistant professor of health promotion." Read More

The Ups and Downs of Teen Substance Abuse In East Lyme, Old Lyme, and Lyme

The Lymes Patch (Old Lyme, CT) October 25, 2012

"While some people may have celebrated the new state law legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, drug and alcohol counselors who work with students in Lyme, Old Lyme, and East Lyme weren't among them.
A recent survey of drug use among students in East Lyme shows that though marijuana use has dropped among seniors, with 21.7 percent reporting recent use (about 5 percent fewer than reported smoking pot in 2008), it's on the rise in 10th grade." Read More

Monday, October 22, 2012

Prescription Drug Abuse by Youths the ‘Next Big Epidemic’

American News Report, October 18, 2012

"Adolescents are abusing prescription painkillers like vicodin, valium and oxycontin at a rate 40 percent higher than previous generations, according to a new study.
'Prescription drug use is the next big epidemic,' said Richard Miech, PhD, lead author of the study and professor of sociology at the University of Colorado Denver. 'Everyone in this field has recognized that there is a big increase in the abuse of nonmedical analgesics but our study shows that it is accelerating among today’s generation of adolescents.'" Read More

Talk Tuesday on alcohol trends

News Times (Brookfield, CT) October 18, 2012

"The Brookfield Substance Abuse Coalition is sponsoring the workshop 'Current Alcohol and Other Drug Trends' on Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Whisconier Middle School, 17 W. Whisconier Road.
The program will be presented by Rachel Bruno and Stephanie Moran of the Governor's Prevention Partnership. It is intended for adults only and will provide a snapshot of emerging patterns of product marketing and usage." Read More

Thursday, October 18, 2012

In Honor of National Bullying Prevention Month

The New York Times, October 17, 2012

"October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and we have just updated our full list of resources on bullying and cyberbullying for the occasion.
We’re also asking a Student Opinion question this week that is inspired by an antibullying campaign called Mix It Up at Lunch Day:
Do You Ever ‘Mix It Up’ and Socialize With Different People at School?" Read More

Binge Drinking Destroys the Brain Within Months and Turns Social Drinkers Into Alcoholics

Medical Daily, October 16, 2012

"Fraternity brothers and sorority sisters pay close attention: researchers warn that just a few months of binge drinking can damage the brain and turn social drinkers into alcoholics.
Researchers found that consuming a small amount of alcohol every day is significantly safer than to intermittent binge drinking.
The latest study, published Oct. 15 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, wanted to understand how the brain adapts to drinking patters." Read More

Stop bullying campaign asks kids to stand up for other kids

The Washington Post, October 17, 2012 

"Let’s hear it for peer pressure.
You read that right. I am in full support of the power of kids to coerce, wheedle and in other ways influence others in their cohort to change behavior. What’s more, the federal government agrees.
That’s why Thursday the Department of Health and Human Services’ is kicking off a new campaign called 'Be More Than a Bystander.' It calls on kids to put an end to the age-old problem that’s still pernicious in this age of social media.
You’ll be seeing lots of public service announcements put together by the king of the PSA, the Ad Council." Read More

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bullying prevention series: High school students learns from Columbine

Plainville Citizen (Plainville, CT) October 16, 2012

"Rachel Joy Scott, a high school girl described by her sister Dana Scott as a 'normal teenager' who loved photography, theater and journaling, was the first victim of the school shootings at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999.
Weeks after the massacre, Scott’s father, Darrell, spoke to a Congressional House Judiciary Community regarding school violence and, shortly after, founded 'Rachel’s Challenge', a bullying and violence abatement program in honor of his daughter." Read More

Young People Driving Epidemic of Prescription Drug Abuse, Study Finds; Abuse of Nonmedical Analgesics Up 40 Percent

Science Daily, October 15, 2012

"A new study by the University of Colorado Denver reveals that today's adolescents are abusing prescription pain medications like vicodin, valium and oxycontin at a rate 40 percent higher than previous generations. That makes it the second most common form of illegal drug use in the U.S. after marijuana, according to Richard Miech, Ph.D., lead author of the study and professor of sociology at CU Denver.
'Prescription drug use is the next big epidemic,' Miech said. 'Everyone in this field has recognized that there is a big increase in the abuse of nonmedical analgesics but our study shows that it is accelerating among today's generation of adolescents.'" Read More

Region 10 High School assembly aims to stop underage drinking

The Register Citizen (Burlington, CT) October 16, 2012

"The effort to stop underage drinking continued with a presentation, “How To Get High Naturally,” by Matt Bellace to Region 10 students on Monday morning.
Bellace, a nationally renowned speaker and motivator with a Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology from Dexter University, has traveled to 43 states and presented 200 times where he ultimately encourages students to pursue natural highs and make healthy choices.
With a crowd of students from seventh grade to twelfth grade in three separate assemblies, Bellace used humor and education as a way to empower them to be leaders in their lives and make change in their environment." Read More

A Tale of Two Drug Stories

Southington Patch (Southington, CT) October 17, 2012

"Over 400 people packed the auditorium at Derynoski Elementary School this week, coming together to celebrate a drug-free lifestyle and encourage others to take part in helping promote a drug free community as part of the town’s annual Red Ribbon Rally.
It was little consolation, however, to the smaller group of 38 residents from across the state sitting less than 100 yards away dealing with the pain that drug addiction can afflict on a family during the monthly Parents-4-A-Change meeting.
The 22nd Annual Red Ribbon Rally, hosted by the Southington Drug Task Force in partnership with Southington schools and organizations from throughout the community, proved to once again be a draw for local parents and students. The goal of the program is to encourage the community to come together and help create a drug-free atmosphere and support smart decision making." Read More

Friday, October 12, 2012

Welcome breakfasts reunite mentors with mentees

Norwalk Citizen (Norwalk, CT) October 9, 2012

"The Norwalk Mentor Program, a program of the Human Services Council in partnership with the Norwalk Public Schools, started another school year by hosting a welcome breakfast Oct. 3 at each of Norwalk's 19 public schools. More than 400 mentors and students attended with the support of FactSet Research Systems Inc.
The first school-based mentor program in the country, the NMP has a long standing in the community. It serves 270 Norwalk public school students. The program matches adult who provide positive role models in one-on-one relationships with students in all 19 of Norwalk's public schools." Read More

American Medicine Chest Challenge Returns To Raise Awareness of Prescription Drug Abuse

NJ Today (New York, NY) October 10, 2012

"On Saturday, Nov. 10, the American Medicine Chest Challenge (AMCC) will be held in communities throughout the nation to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
This initiative will challenge families across the United States to take the Five-Step American Medicine Chest Challenge:
 - Take inventory of your prescription and over-the-counter medicine.
 - Lock your medicine chest.
 - Dispose of your unused, unwanted, and expired medicine in your home or at an American Medicine Chest Challenge Disposal site.
 - Take your medicine(s) exactly as prescribed.
 - Talk to your children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse." Read More

Teens influenced not only by friends, but by their friends' parents

Daily News, October 10, 2012

"A new study finds that when it comes to drinking and smoking, teens are influenced not only by their parents and friends, but by their friends' parents as well.
In a new study published October 8, teens who had friends whose mothers were authoritative -- strict but still warm -- were much less likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or use marijuana than those teens whose friends' parents were lacking in warmth and control. In numbers, the teens were 40 percent less likely to drink, 38 percent less likely to binge drink, 39 percent less likely to smoke cigarettes, and 43 percent less likely to use pot." Read More

Survey Finds Bullying to Be the Most Important Issue Facing Teens Today

PR Newswire (New York, NY) October 11, 2012

"A new survey by Harlequin TEEN, a leading publisher of novels for teens and young adults, and the Jed Foundation's Love is Louder movement, finds that 70 percent of young women between 16 and 21 have been bullied, with many young women admitting the issue is more serious than adults think.
The release of the survey coincides with National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month and the availability of Speechless, a Harlequin TEEN novel that examines the impact of words and the devastating consequences that result from gossiping. In Speechless, the book's main character, Chelsea Knot, stumbles upon a classmate in a private situation and proceeds to tell her discovery to friends. The consequences are severe and lead Chelsea to take a vow of silence, during which she embarks on a journey of self-discovery that leads her to better understand the power of her words and actions."  Read More

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Youth struggle with alcohol, drugs after detention

Futurity, October 8, 2012

"Five years after leaving juvenile detention more than 45 percent of males and nearly 30 percent of females have one or more psychiatric disorders, a recent study shows.
'Although prevalence rates dropped over time, some disorders were three times more prevalent than in the general population,' says Linda A. Teplin, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine." Read More

Bullying prevention series: Presentation teaches parents how to tackle bullying

Plainville Citizen (Plainville, CT) October 5, 2012

"'Bullying happens to everyone,' said Sarah E. Brzozowy, a consultant for State Education Resource Center. 'You may have been bullied. I know I was.'
While it may not be possible for parents to shield their children from some type of bullying, Brzozowy led a seminar at Grace Lutheran Church Sept. 25 to equip parents with the tools to handle most bullying-related situations.
To an intimate group of concerned parents and guardians, Brzozowy broached topics such as cyberbullying, Connecticut bullying laws and tips for concerned parents of bully victims and bullies." Read More

Marijuana Workshop in Durham This Month

Durham-Middlefield Patch (Durham, CT) October 9, 2012

"Later this month, Durham Middlefield Youth and Family Services will sponsor a workshop entitled 'Unraveling the Truth About Marijuana and Its Impact On Our Kids.'
The free, interactive multimedia presentation is for parents, teachers, coaches, mentors and community members and will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. at Strong School on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
The workshop will address questions and concerns like:" Read More

Monday, October 8, 2012

Join Us to Celebrate National Substance Abuse Prevention Month

Office of National Drug Control Policy, October 2, 2012

"This October marks the second annual National Substance Abuse Prevention Month – an observance to highlight the vital role of substance abuse prevention in individual and community health and to pay tribute to the lives lost to substance abuse. The Office of National Drug Control Policy joins President Obama in celebrating National Substance Abuse Prevention Month and encourages prevention efforts this month and all year long to ensure the health of teens and young adults.
Millions of Americans suffer from substance abuse, which includes underage drinking, alcohol dependency, non-medical use of prescription drugs, abuse of over-the-counter medications, and illicit drug use. Approximately 23 million people aged 12 or older used illicit drugs in 2010. This abuse touches all aspects of our communities and contributes to an estimated $193 billion in crime, health, and lost productivity costs." Read More

Parents' Conversation Continues on Amity Anti-Drug Policy (POLL)

Orange Patch (Orange, CT) October 8, 2012

"The next Amity Board of Education meeting (October 15) will be the first in the shadow of two closely coinciding events: last month's meeting, which narrowly held back expanded drug dog presence, and a Woodbridge Police Department arrest of a student accused of carrying marijuana 'packaged for sale.'
And since then, parents and community members have kept the conversation alive in Patch comments sections.
So while the school board vote may be resolved, it's clear pressure for increased anti-drug measures at Amity won't be going away any time soon." Read More

Southington Schools to Participate in 'Bullying Prevention Month'

Southington Patch (Southington, CT) October, 8, 2012

"October is National Bullying Prevention Month.
In support of Bullying Prevention Month, students and staff at Kennedy, DePaolo, ALTA, and Southington High School are encouraged to take part in 'Unity Day', on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
Announcements offering students suggestions and advice about what to do if they see bullying are also being read all week at DePaolo Middle School. This is part of an ongoing initiative in the Southington Public Schools to be proactive in preventing bullying." Read More

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bullying common on children’s shows (Boston, MA) October 1, 2012

"Bullying incidents are commonly seen on popular children’s television programs, Indiana University researchers found. They analyzed three episodes each for 50 of the most popular television shows for children ages 2 to 11 between December 2006 and March 2007.
Some form of aggression was portrayed on 92 percent of the programs, most commonly verbal types such as insulting and teasing, but also nonverbal types such as eye rolling, finger pointing, and ignoring." Read More

Miss Teen USA to co-host No Bully Tour (Video)

The Examiner, October 3, 2012

"The Miss Universe Organization released the news that Logan West, Miss Teen USA and advocate of anti-bullying, will stand up for those who have been bullied and raise awareness throughout the month of October, National Bullying Prevention Month, and beyond. Joining forces with Karen Klein, the upstate New York bus monitor who was brutally bullied by students, West will co-host a musical concert tour entitled No Bully Tour. The tour will travel along the east coast throughout October featuring artists whose music and lyrics are dedicated to celebrating people’s differences and encouraging positive change." Read More

New drinking law threatens homeowners

Daily Yale News (New Haven, CT) October 3, 2012

"As of Oct. 1, 2012, underage drinkers can get Connecticut property owners charged with a misdemeanor offense.
Under a new law passed this June, any Connecticut property owner who permits underage drinking in his or her household 'recklessly or with criminal negligence' could face a minimum of $500 in fines or one year in prison for first-time offenses. Serious offenders can now face charges of a class A misdemeanor — only one step below a felony — which calls for a fine of up to $2,000 as well as a possible one-year prison stint." Read More

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Regional substance abuse prevention agency hosts walkathon

The Day (Preston, CT) October 1, 2012

"The Southeastern Regional Action Council will hold its second annual 'We All Share' walkathon Tuesday, Oct. 9 at the Preston Veterans Memorial School, from 4 to 7:00 p.m. on the walking track.
This is a family friendly event open to the public with snacks and refreshments. There will also be a local DJ will play as participants walk the track. As participants complete laps around the track they will collect and read stories written by youth in southeastern Connecticut expressing how their lives has been affected by drugs and alcohol and why they choose to stay drug free." Read More

Teen Drunk Driving Falls on High Gas Prices, Less Alcohol

Bloomberg, October 3, 2012 

"Drunk driving among U.S. teens fell 54 percent in the past two decades, a trend helped by laws to curb underage alcohol consumption and higher gas prices keeping high school students off the road, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2011, 10 percent of high school students reported drinking and driving, compared with 22 percent in 1991, according to the report. People ages 16 to 20 are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when their blood alcohol is .08 percent, the legal limit in many states, the report in the Atlanta-based CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found." Read More

Stratford Public Schools Seeking Volunteers to Mentor Students

Stratford Patch (Stratford, CT) October 3, 2012

"Applications are currently being accepted for the Stratford Public Schools Mentoring Program.
Those interested in serving as a mentor should complete a brief application and attend an informational and training session beginning at 2:30 pm. on October 26, 2012, in the Stratford High School Library.
Please RSVP no later than Oct. 19." Read More

Jennifer Livingston Fights Back Against Body Bullying

People Magazine, October 3, 2012

"With one eloquent on-air response, CBS WKBT news anchor Jennifer Livingston is standing up for herself and victims of bullying everywhere.
On Tuesday morning, the La Crosse, Wis., anchor took a moment off from delivering the day's news to address a recent email she'd received that harshly criticized her appearance.
The email reads: 'Hi Jennifer, It's unusual that I see your morning show, but I did so for a very short time today. I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn't improved for many years. Surely you don't consider yourself a suitable example for this community's young people, girls in particular.'" Read More

Monday, October 1, 2012

Divorce Children And Bullying

The Huffington Post, September 28, 2012

"I had the privilege recently of attending an anti-bullying conference sponsored by the U.S. Attorney's office. I came away from the conference a true believer in the close relationship between bullying and the childhood difficulties caused by parental separation.
The first person I met at the conference was an assistant District Attorney from a nearby California county. Her work involves juveniles in the criminal justice system and she drew a direct link between bullying and high conflict families. She observes a larger number of juvenile offenders playing out inter-parental conflict by displacing their aggression and directing it at other youngsters. Parents who act with intimidation and perpetuate physical or psychological harm are teaching their children to use those tactics to solve problems. It's an, "if it's okay at home, it's okay at school" mentality." Read More

Bullying prevention series: Junior high students taught ‘yes we can’ (say no to bullying)

Plainville Citizen (Plainville, CT) September 27, 2012

"On the morning of Sept. 19, Middle School of Plainville students had an opportunity to attend one of the anti-bullying programs created with the help of Dean of Students Tom Laudadio.
'Step Up', an assembly incoming sixth-graders must attend, was established with Anti-Defamation League representatives Derek Hall (who led the talk) and Joshua Sayles (assistant regional director).
'Programs like this are your first step in setting common language and understanding the effects of bullying,' Laudadio said in an interview before the program. 'In particular, this assembly is about going from a bystander to bullying to an ally.'" Read More

Social Bullying Prevalent in Children's Television

Science Daily, September 27, 2012

"A new research study led by an Indiana University professor has found that social bullying is just as prevalent in children's television as depictions of physical aggression.
The study, 'Mean on the Screen: Social Aggression in Programs Popular With Children,' which appears in the Journal of Communication, found that 92 percent of the top 50 program for children between the ages of 2 and 11 showed characters involved in social aggression.
On average, there were 14 different incidents of social aggression per hour, or once every four minutes." Read More

Thursday, September 27, 2012

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday

Connecticut Plus (Hartford, CT) September 26, 2012

"On Saturday, September 29, state and local law enforcement officials in more than 60 cities and towns across Connecticut will join with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to give residents the opportunity to prevent drug abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
Attorney General George Jepsen recently joined the DEA, the state Departments of Consumer Protection and of Emergency Services and Public Protection, and the Governor’s Prevention Partnership in detailing the state’s growing prescription drug problem and encouraging state residents to take part in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day by visiting a nearby collection site." Read More

Bullying Awareness On School Buses In 30 Towns

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) September 26, 2012

"All-Star Transportation is proud to be participating in Blue Shirt Day, a part of the World Day of Bullying Prevention.
On Monday, Oct. 1, more than 750 All-Star Transportation employees, including school bus drivers and bus monitors, will be wearing blue t-shirts emblazoned with a graphic that says 'Be Nice on My Bus!'
'There is no such thing as 'sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me' in real life,' said Safety Supervisor Brenda Bass, who spearheaded this effort. 'A child who is bullied is scarred and it can affect them for the rest of their life.'" Read More

Dump unwanted prescription drugs safely

The Darien Times (Darien, CT) September 26, 2012

"Have unused prescription drugs? Then bring them to the dump on Ledge Road on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 10-2 p.m.
The Darien Health Department, in conjunction with the Darien Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration, will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The service is free and anonymous-no questions asked." Read More

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dispose of Your Unwanted Prescription Drugs

Orange Patch (Orange, CT) September 25, 2012

"On Saturday, September 29, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00p.m. the Orange Police Department, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (D.E.A.), has scheduled another one-day National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative. This event will take place in the Stop & Shop parking lot, located at 259 Bull Hill Lane. This is free and anonymous, no questions asked. This is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted or unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications." Read More

MENTOR Announces a New, Cutting-Edge Resource for Mentoring

MENTOR, September 25, 2012

"MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership announces a new, relevant and meaningful online resource developed by Dr. Jean Rhodes called The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring. This tool will highlight new findings and ideas about youth mentoring and give practitioners the opportunity to share their local community experiences.
 The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring is hosted on the University of Massachusetts, Boston’s website for the Center for Evidence Based Mentoring. This Center was established earlier this year in partnership with MENTOR and is dedicated to creating the open and efficient exchange of research and ideas for the advancement of youth mentoring practices and policies." Read More

Courage to Speak Foundation opens family resource center

Norwalk Citizen (Norwalk, CT) September 24, 2012

"State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-Norwalk) spent a lot of time with her summer interns, and she talked to the young people extensively about what they thought of the new Connecticut drug laws--the one decriminalizing possession and personal use of less than one half ounce of marijuana, and the one approving the medical use of the marijuana.
'They are very confused now. They don't really understand what's OK to do and what isn't, and really what is legal and what is not,' Laveille told the people gathered at the opening of the Courage to Speak Foundation Family Resource Center in Norwalk Friday morning. 'And whether having anything to do with it at all is maybe OK.'" Read More

Bully Buster plans events for Bullying Prevention Month

The Day (Norwich, CT) September 24, 2012

"The Greater Norwich Anti-Bullying Coalition will participate in National Bullying Prevention Month with a Bully-Busters Promotes National Bullying Prevention Month with a youth dance on Oct. 5 and a fundraiser Walk-Run-Roll event at Mohegan Park Oct. 6. 
 The group will have a First Friday For Youth Unity Dance for youths ages 11 through 15 at United Congregational Church 87 Broadway from 6 to 9 p.m. The dance is free. Participants are asked to sign in when they arrive." Read More

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters seeks mentors

Plainville Citizen (Plainville, CT) September 23, 2012

"Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters, Connecticut’s premier youth mentoring organization, has launched an early fall campaign designed to transition as many young people as possible off its Plainville area waiting list and into productive match relationships with caring adult mentors.
'Our list of children waiting for mentors has definitely grown larger over the past six months in the 44 northwest Connecticut towns and cities we cover,' said Lisa Hanggi, director of programs. 'We’re not sure that growth has to do with the economy, or if it’s impacted by people hearing good things about the positive outcomes our services generate. Whatever the cause, we’re determined to dramatically reduce our waiting list before the onset of summer so more young people have the opportunity to utilize their innate talents and fulfill their great potential.'" Read More

YW girls' mentoring program taking applicants

Darien News (Darien, CT) September 23, 2012

"The YWCA Darien/Norwalk is enrolling Darien High School students in the new Mentoring for Girls program, which pairs a volunteer adult female mentor with a high school girl for twice-monthly sessions throughout the school year.
The program is the first woman-to-girl mentoring program in Darien. Its mission is to help build young women's self-esteem and to realize their full potential as they face the challenges and rewards of high school and beyond. All sessions will take place at the YW's office at 49 Old Kings Highway North on Mondays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Each will offer a theme such as 'Setting Goals,' 'Overcoming Challenges' or 'Finding Motivation,' and will be overseen by a program coordinator." Read More

New Haven mentoring program 'blends' well for girls

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) September 23, 2012

"When Jeanette Sykes developed The Perfect Blend mentoring program for girls and women five years ago, her vision was of generations learning from one another.
Now the vision is reality.
The growing program has a perfect blend of accomplished community members, high school girls, college women and, most recently, middle school girls helping one another.
Brianna Blunt, 18, a student at Parson’s School of Design in New York City, said mentoring middle school students was a wonderful experience. In a workshop on body images, for instance, the main message was to accept yourself and don’t expect to look like Beyonce." Read More

Friday, September 21, 2012

Three Plainfield business cited for allegedly selling liquor to minors

Norwich Bulletin (Plainfield, CT) September 19, 2012

"Three Plainfield stores allegedly sold liquor to minors, according to the state Department of Consumer Protection.
Better Val-U Supermarket, 657 Norwich Road, Plainfield Northeast Wine & Spirits, 81 Lathrop Road, and Marie’s Lake Street Spirits, 30 Lake St. in Moosup, were visited by minors from the Governor’s Prevention Partnership group, part of an operation that included compliance checks of nine package and grocery stores in Plainfield."  Read More

Bullying Bulletin Board: Should I monitor my child online?

Norwich Bulletin (Norwich, CT) September 20, 2012

"There certainly is no lack of programs available that permit you to monitor what your children do online. But is parental monitoring effective? Is it an invasion of childrens’ (legitimate) need for private interactions with their friends? Is it effective? Does it prevent cyberbullying?
Actually, parents should monitor their kids on social networking sites (and elsewhere), but not for the reason most people think. Monitoring is usually presented as a situation where parents are 'spying' on their kids' private communications in order to catch them doing something risky or bad. Some experts even recommend that parents not tell their child that they're being monitored." Read More

Substance Abuse Council celebrates 20 years in Meriden, Wallingford

Record Journal (Meriden, CT) September 19, 2012

"Twenty years ago, when the Meriden and Wallingford Substance Abuse Council was established, the nonprofit organization was run by two employees assigned to form community partnerships and raise awareness of substance abuse.
Today, the organization is still run by two employees, but has grown into the South Central Connecticut Substance Abuse Council. Just recently, the organization was tasked with providing assistance to seven other communities, while continuing to provide programming for youth, informational pamphlets and awareness campaigns." Read More

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lieberman, Blumenthal, Larson announce funding for child mentoring programs

Connecticut Plus (Hartford, CT) September 19, 2012

"Today, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman and Senator Richard Blumenthal along with Congressman John B. Larson and the Mayor of Hartford Pedro E. Segarra announced a $109,910 grant for the Governor’s Prevention Partnership’s Hartford Juvenile Mentoring Collaborative. The grant, awarded through the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Program (OJJDP), will help support mentoring initiatives seeking to reduce juvenile delinquency, gang involvement, academic failure, victimization, and school dropout rates.
The members of the Connecticut Delegation released the following in a joint statement: 'Every child deserves to reach his or her full potential. Mentoring programs are a valuable source of strength for at-risk youth here in Connecticut, and we are very pleased to see this funding supporting them. We know the Governor’s Prevention Partnership will use this funding to help hundreds of youth in Connecticut and we look forward to seeing them continue this essential work in our communities.'" Read More

New Law Could Make Property Owners Liable for Underage Drinking

Ridgefield Patch (Ridgefield, CT) September 19, 2012

"Once again, it is time for our children to go back to school. For many parents, these 'children' are young adults who will be going off to high school. Some of these parents might be faced with issues involving alcohol and the consumption of alcohol in their homes.
Many times parents want to do what is right and are sometimes conflicted by thoughts of hosting 'controlled' parties at their homes, with limited numbers of teens, under strict supervision, where alcohol is served. This plan is nothing short of a recipe for disaster." Read More

Study shows almost half of children with autism victimized by bullies

The Washington Post, September 19, 2012

"A study published this month in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine shows that children with autism are more than four times as likely to be the victims of bullying than their typically developing siblings. The statistics confirm what many parents already knew: Children with autism spectrum disorders are particularly vulnerable to rejection from their peer group.
It’s no surprise that they are victimized more. Kids with autism often struggle with social interactions and language, making it challenging for them to connect with others, even when they want to." Read More

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Only half of adults say schools should take action when kids bully with social isolation, September 17, 2012

"The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health recently asked a nationwide sample of adults what behaviors should be considered bullying and what behaviors should spur school officials to intervene.
The vast majority of adults (95 percent) say schools should take action if a student makes another student afraid for his/her physical safety. Eighty-one percent said schools should intervene when someone humiliates or embarrasses another student and 76 percent call for intervention when someone spreads rumors.
But only 56 percent said isolating a student socially should prompt school intervention."  Read More

Big Brothers Big Sisters Honors Hispanic Heritage Month With The Launch Of

The Sacramento Bee (Philadelphia, PA) September 17, 2012

"In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is launching, the nation's first bilingual website focused on one-to-one long-term youth mentoring services. The website will feature and engage Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors and mentees; families, supporters and donors.
'With the launch of, we celebrate progress we have made in employing culturally relevant mentoring approaches to guide and empower youth to succeed in life. At the same time, we recognize population trends and the demand to reach more children' said Hector Cortez, Vice President of Strategic Community Engagement, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. 'Our Hispanic Mentoring Initiative is founded on research affirming that family members are a Latino child's first mentors. Recognizing that, we support families by carefully matching each child with the right mentor and providing ongoing support to the volunteer, child and family throughout the course of the long-term mentoring relationship.'" Read More

Monday, September 17, 2012

Quitting Smoking Just as Hard for Teens: Study

HealthDay, September 14, 2012

"It's hard to give up smoking, even for those who are fairly new to the deadly habit, according to a new study that found that quitting smoking is just as hard for teenagers as it is for adults.
In the study, published online Sept. 4 in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, scientists at Brown University found that young people who are new smokers suffer nearly all of the same negative psychological effects when they try to quit as people who've smoked for years.
Unlike adults trying to quit, however, teens aren't irritated by certain sounds and they are still able to feel happy. The study authors suggested their findings could help improve programs designed to help people stop smoking." Read More

Pilot programs look to increase use of prescription drug monitoring databases

American Medical News, September 12, 2012

"There is widespread agreement in the Health and Human Services Dept.’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and other departments in the federal government that prescription drug monitoring databases are an effective tool in combating prescription drug abuse, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called an epidemic.
But they acknowledge that getting physicians to use the tool has been challenging, especially in states where use of the database is voluntary. The ONC launched two pilot programs aimed at increasing use of the databases by making it easier for physicians to access them." Read More

Schools address drinking problems

The Examiner, September 15, 2012

"Yesterday's edition of The Heights, the Boston College school newspaper announced that this fall, Boston College’s Office of Health Promotion and the Alcohol and Drug Education (ADE) Programs are starting a support group for students on campus who are in recovery from drug and alcohol addictions. Staff and peer specialists within the program note that college is one of the toughest environments in which to stay sober. There is a general expectation that heavy alcohol use and college go together.
Studies have shown that campuses in the Northeast, campuses with a high percentage of students involved in Greek life, and campuses with successful and notable sports teams are some of the schools with higher rates of drinking issues. BC qualifies on two out of the three factors." Read More

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Litchfield School District addresses bullying

The Register Citizen (Litchfield, CT) September 12, 2012

"Superintendent Deborah Wheeler said this week Litchfield School District is well prepared to address any suspected or reported incidents of bullying in the district with the new school year.
'We’re certainly following the guidelines being established by the state, we have appointed our school climate resource [people] and we do have some information posted on our Web site with some anti-bullying information,' said Dr. Wheeler on Wednesday.
In July 2011, the Connecticut Legislature passed a new school bullying prevention law, An Act Concerning the Strengthening of School Bullying Laws, Public CT No. 11-232, which contains significant revisions aimed at strengthening the existing statute." Read More

OJJDP Highlights Neurological, Economic Consequences of Underage Drinking

Youth Today, September 11, 2012

"New findings from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) address the neurological impact of underage drinking, suggesting that teens that use alcohol may be more likely to experience developmental problems, such as memory lapses, and engage in more dangerous activities, including risky sexual behaviors, than their peers.
Effects and Consequences of Underage Drinking, a bulletin released by the OJJDP earlier this month, is a literature review compiling various findings regarding the social, developmental and economic influence of teenage alcohol consumption." Read More

Some Teachers Still Think of Bullying as 'Boys Being Boys'

Ellington-Somers Patch (Ellington, CT) September 11, 2012

"For a while now, I’ve been thinking that my work was done. That the word has gotten out about bullying, that the school systems were putting a stop to it, that parents knew the signs, and that people were ready to step in and stop it when they saw it.
I’m pretty sure others have started thinking this way too. Nowadays, school administrators avoid using terms like 'bullying' or 'anti-bullying' when discussing the topic. They have started to say those terms have been overused. Better, they say, that we talk about creating a “safe school climate” for students. I guess bullying just doesn’t happen anymore." Read More

Monday, September 10, 2012

CVS Caremark to sponsor The Partnership at campaign to curb Rx abuse

Drug Store News (Woonsocket, RI) September 6, 2012

"CVS Caremark announced that it has joined with a group of public and private sector partners and will sponsor the 'The Medicine Abuse Project,' a multiyear effort by The Partnership at to raise awareness and curb the abuse of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines. The project's goal is to prevent half a million teens from abusing medicines over the next five years.
'It is startling that 1-in-6 teens has taken a prescription drug without a prescription and that the majority of teens who abuse medications get them from the homes of family and friends,' CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo said." Read More

Mentoring program open to high school girls

Darien News (Darien, CT) September 7, 2012

"The YWCA Darien/Norwalk is looking for Darien High School girls who are interested in participating in the YWCA Mentoring Program, which pairs an adult female volunteer with a high school girl for bi-monthly sessions throughout the school year.
The program begins on Monday, Sept. 17, at the YWCA office, 49 Old Kings Highway Norwalk, Darien." Read More

Schools Tackling Bullies, But Can't Do It Alone

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) September 7, 2012

"Bullying in school is a serious, widespread problem. According to the General Assembly's Commission on Children, 25 percent of Connecticut high school students say they have been bullied.
But schools and school districts can do only so much. As with other problems facing public education, real change will come only with cooperation and advocacy at home.
Laws passed by the state legislature last year will reduce school bullying. Every public school must appoint a 'safe school climate' committee and specialist to monitor bullying. In addition, each school district must create a safe school climate coordinator to, among other things, act as a liaison between the district and the state Department of Education." Read More

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Durham Middlefield Local Wellness Council wins $125,000 federal grant

Town Times (Durham, CT) August 27, 2012

"Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) announced that the Durham Middlefield Local Wellness Council has been awarded a $125,000 Drug-Free Communities Support Program grant. The funds will be used to engage with the local community and prevent substance abuse among youth.
'The future of America is largely dependent on the ability of young people to make decisions that will help keep them healthy and safe,' DeLauro said. 'The Durham Middlefield Local Wellness Council does great work with youth in those two communities, making sure they stay drug free. I am proud to have supported their application for this grant and will continue to advocate for them in the future.'" Read More

Anti-bullying conference for girls Sept. 22

The Herald (Shelton, CT) August 30, 2012

"Girl Scouts of Connecticut will be hosting an Anti-Bullying Conference on Saturday, Sept. 22 at Shelton Intermediate School.
This conference is for girls in grades 6 to 12 and adults. The conference will feature a variety of workshops and activities ranging from bullying prevention strategies, building positive self-esteem and learning about social media and empowerment.
Girls may attend as an individual, with an adult, or with a troop. The deadline to register is Sept. 7 and may be done online at" Read More

Steroid use among high school girls on rise

News Times (Norwalk, CT) August 30, 2012

"Performance-enhancing drugs have been in the news so much that the acronym PED is recognizable shorthand for many people.
But what about APED? That stands for appearance -- and performance-enhancing drugs -- a more accurate description of why teenagers can be lured into the use of dangerous anabolic steroids, says Don Hooton Jr., whose 17-year-old brother, Taylor, became depressed and committed suicide in 2003 after using anabolic steroids."   Read More 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Why Are Asthmatic Youngsters More Likely To Be Bullied?

Red Orbit, September 3, 2012

"The inability of asthmatic children to participate in sports, and the melancholy feelings those youngsters experience, are believed to be two of the primary reasons that they are frequently the victims of bullying, researchers from one UK hospital claim in a new study.
Dr. Will Carroll and colleagues from the Derbyshire Children’s Hospital in the East Midlands region of England used data collected from the six-nation 'Room to Breathe' childhood asthma study to determine what factors contributed to the increased likelihood that kids with asthma would be bullied, the European Lung Foundation (ELF) explained in a September 2 statement." Read More

Tips to ease back to school stress

WTNH News-8 (New Haven, CT) August 29, 2012

"Jill Spineti, the President & CEO of The Governor's Prevention Partnership , shares tips to ease stress as kids head back-to-school.
Celebrating more than 22 years of keeping Connecticut kids safe, successful and drug-free, The Governor’s Prevention Partnership is a statewide, nonprofit public-private alliance, building a strong, healthy future workforce through leadership in mentoring and prevention of youth violence and bullying, underage drinking, and substance abuse." Read More

With New School Year Comes Another Attempt To Curb Bullying

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) September 1, 2012

"Bullying has been a target of Connecticut educators and lawmakers since at least 2002, when a 12-year-old hanged himself after being repeatedly being picked on at school.
A number of laws aimed at eliminating bullying — including requirements that school districts report incidents to the state — have been passed since Daniel Scruggs killed himself. But local education officials acknowledge that fighting bullying has been a daunting task.
As students head back into Connecticut classrooms, another round of anti-bullying legislation, passed last year, has taken effect, with districts required to pay closer attention to complaints through more-thorough reporting and prompt parental notification." Read More

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hall Freshmen Get Special Treatment from Upper-Class Mentors

West Hartford Patch (West Hartford, CT) August 29, 2012

"The first day of high school can be a scary occasion for an incoming freshman. We've all heard those stories about seniors giving wide-eyed freshmen the wrong directions to a classroom, or worse.
At Hall High School, several energetic teachers and about 80 juniors and seniors have worked to ensure that this year's group of incoming freshmen will not be walking around with that 'deer in the headlights' look when they report for school Wednesday morning." Read More

Connecticut toughens an underage drinking law

The Examiner (Hartford, CT) August 27, 2012

"As parents send their children back to school, Connecticut parents of teens have something new and scary to study: a significant revision of an underage drinking law that may have thousands of residents paying big fines and facing jail time.
In the last few minutes of Connecticut’s state legislative session in May, several high-profile bills were passed which received a great deal of media attention, including those affecting education, the death penalty, access to palliative marijuana and voter registration. However, one bill, expected to affect every family in the state, slipped in under the radar and that bill becomes law on October 1, 2012." Read More

Local coalitions get $500,000 to prevent youth substance abuse

West Hartford News (West Hartford, CT) August 28, 2012

"Senators Joseph I. Lieberman and Richard Blumenthal, along with Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Joe Courtney, and Jim Himes, announced four federal grant awards to community coalitions in Connecticut as part of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Program. The DFC Program is designed to support communities as they mobilize individuals and organizations to reduce youth substance use. The following community coalitions have been awarded $125,000:
Local Prevention Council serving East Haddam, CT, Enfield Together Coalition serving Enfield, CT, Durham Middlefield Local Wellness Council serving Durham, CT and Middlefield, CT, Bridgeport United Coalition serving Bridgeport, CT." Read More